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 文章标题 : Signposts of GNU/Linux Growth in 2007
帖子发表于 : 2008-01-05 12:23 

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From: http://itmanagement.earthweb.com/osrc/a ... _3719096_1
By Roy Schestowitz

It is sometimes forgotten that GNU/Linux is more than just a desktop operating system. Linux, being a well-engineered kernel, is used extensively and also funded for its important role in several different areas of computing. One needs to look for evidence of growth not only in desktops. Judgment must be based on multiple areas where GNU/Linux gains traction. This ought to cover some disruptive trends that are yet to be reckoned with.

As time goes by, appliances might inherit the important role of traditional desktops. Mobile and ultra-mobile devices could gradually replace laptops and servers to become more predominant owing to Web-based software, which also moves storage toward the back end. Let's explore how GNU/Linux fits this broader vision and discover just how ubiquitous it is, with growth consistently on the upside.


In supercomputing, GNU/Linux has become extremely popular and sometimes irreplaceable. Its selection is a matter of scalability and reliability, not just cost. Among the world's top computers, taking virtualization into account as well, Linux climbed from 86% installed base in 2006 up to 91% at the end of 2007. This relative growth in 2007 might not seem great, but it comes to show that GNU/Linux still tightens its grip on this domain, rather than loosen any. Inertia is likely to ensure that such domination is maintained, if not further expanded in years to come.

In the past couple of years, SGI, Sun Microsystems and Microsoft have all attempted to gain or regain ground in supercomputing. SGI conceded UNIX in favor of GNU/Linux, whereas Microsoft and Sun stuck to their guns and they have yet to demonstrate actual growth with Windows and Solaris, respectively. Based on the world's top 500 computers, their ambitions led to very limited success. IBM's AIX holds on to a share of 4.8%, Sun's Solaris is at 0.4% and Mac OS X maintains 0.4%. GNU/Linux is still seen as a de facto platform in this domain. Faith in this platform is increasing owing to maturity and its hard-earned reputation.

Mobile Phones

EDN highlighted the success of Linux in mobile phones last year. It pointed to exceptionally high popularity in Asia thanks to NEC, Panasonic, Motorola and others. In 2006, Linux was said to have powered approximately a quarter of all feature phones shipped in the previous year, according to market analysts cited by Webb. Growth seems to have been persistent since then, but there was one barrier that was finally passed in 2007.

Linux-powered handsets are said to be suffering from fragmentation in their development, but the Linux Phone Standards(LiPS) Forum has created a formal liaison and a technical framework for cooperation. Google's Open Mobile Alliance (OMA) emerged later in the year 2007 and it can exist in a state of collaboration and harmonize with LiPS. OMA develops open specifications for content and services, whereas LiMO concentrates on specifications and standards for these services. At the center of OMA you will find Android, which is a Linux/Java-based stack for developers. It is a common framework that leads to greater centralization, essentially replacing that notorious fragmentation with unification.

All in all, in the mobile space, growth continued at a rapid pace, especially in Asia. The effect of LiMO and Google's Android is to be seen in years to come. Google has already spent hundreds of millions of dollars on its endeavors in the mobile space, the company's spectrum-related investments aside. We shall see the first product that uses Android in the first quarter of next year. Many large companies will be actively involved and HTC might lead the way.


On the desktop, the outlook seems increasingly bright. Two independent user surveys, one from LinuxDesktop.com and another from the Linux Foundation, saw participation more than doubling in just one year. This indicates strong growth that cannot normally be measured. When it comes to free software, obtaining absolute numbers is different from studying trends. If you extrapolate these figures, as some industry watchers have already done, then it's almost safe to assume that the presence of GNU/Linux on the desktop has doubled in the past year.

In 2007, several major OEMs (Original Equipment Manufacturers) such as Dell, Acer, Hewlett-Packard, Lenovo and Epson have all begun offering GNU/Linux options for PCs that they stock. Other companies such as Toshiba have spoken in the press about the possibility of offering such choice in the near future.

Preinstalled GNU/Linux became more commonplace among smaller computer shops too. Some attribute this trend to Windows Vista backlash and -- in particular -- its steep hardware requirements that elevate cost. It appears like only a matter of time before offering GNU/Linux as an affordable option becomes the norm everywhere. With availability, a system that was once perceived as 'exotic' or a hobbyist's choice suddenly becomes mainstream.

Acceptance of GNU/Linux by the world's largest OEMs was only the beginning. Large retailers such as Tesco and Wal-Mart began offering cheaper GNU/Linux computers, adding more choice to past offerings that were less attractive, scarcely advertised, lacked support, and suffered from limited availability.

Wal-Mart's offer of the Everex gPC was a success. They sold out within a couple of weeks and this was not an isolated incident. Dell's sales figures of GNU/Linux PCs exceeded the company's initial expectations as well, so they expanded their offers to more models and brought GNU/Linux options to more parts of the world. 2007 will be remembered as the year when GNU/Linux became not only available, but also properly preinstalled on desktops and laptops by the world's largest companies.

Low-end Laptops and Tablets

In recent months, a wave of highly anticipated laptops finally arrived. Some insist on calling them gadgets because they are on the verge of being intuitive and affordable enough to suit every person and even be sold over the counter just like any consumable electronic item. These laptops are small and their use of GNU/Linux permits them to use modest hardware that is inexpensive. The Linux-based Eee PC is probably the most recent example.

It was only a couple of months ago that ASUSTek introduced the Eee PC, whose sales figures have so far exceeded the company's initial expectations. It soon became one of the most sought-after Christmas gifts and the company cannot manufacture these fast enough to meet overwhelming market demand. Just before Christmas, the company revised its sales forecast positively, made this product its second-most valuable asset, and even predicted that it would occupy a 20% market share among laptops within years.

The Eee PC is just one among several success stories that involve portable low-end products. They all happen to be Linux-based for a reason. Other similar laptops and tablets include: Zombu notebook (powered by Gentoo Linux), Nokia's Internet tablets (running the Debian-based Maemo), Intel's ClassMate (running Mandriva Linux) and PepperPad. Even Wal-Mart is poised to deliver a notebook equivalent of the Everex desktop mentioned above. It will be called Cloudbook.

The One Laptop Per Childmakes another case study that isn't very ordinary. It is misunderstood by those who review it because its target audience is underprivileged children in parts of the world where computing is more rare. The laptop is highly innovative -- and thus it seems almost outlandish -- but at the same time a not-for-profit organization stands behind it. The laptop, which runs XO on top of Fedora Linux, strives to reach children all across the globe and become a universal educational tool. It is proving quite popular even among adults in United States where it is sold under the ”Give one, get one” program (closing at the end of this month, so you can still order yours and help bridge the digital divide).

New laptops of this kind keep coming at a rapid pace, owing to relatively low and ever-decreasing costs that are associated with producing hardware nowadays. This makes other expenses -- any expenses for that matter -- highly undesirable. Costs that are tied to software should constantly be escaped for a competitive edge, so manufacturers find haven in free software. Such new imbalance between the cost of hardware and software typically promotes the use of GNU/Linux.

Program scale and 'weight' (and therefore speed of the software) come into play also. Since Linux presents a flexible platform that facilitates tweaking, things like complexity, battery consumption and various other aspects are easier to have customized. Amazon's Kindle, for example, runs Linux and it employs an underlying design that exploits this key trait. It reduces consumption of battery power, thereby increasing its actual capacity. Generic and rigid systems cannot achieve this without considerable investment.


Crossing over to the world of gaming, which is loosely related to computing, the GP2Xhandheld is definitely worth mentioning. It is one of the most hackable Linux-based consoles of its type and there are other similar gadgets such as the Sony Mylo, which came to the limelight in 2007. (Part 2 of this article will discuss such devices in greater depth.)

When it comes to next-generation consoles, GNU/Linux is never left neglected. A full-blown platform can trivially be installed on the PlayStation 3 and hacks also exist which enable GNU/Linux to run on Nintendo's Wii and Microsoft's XBox360. The latter requires a firmware downgrade, however, and it is not considered quite so ethical. By all means, it does demonstrate the versatility and adaptability of the Linux kernel. There is almost no electronic circuit that Linux is unable to cope with nowadays. The kernel supports literally dozens of different architectures.

Media Players and Set-up Boxes

There are many examples of the use of GNU/Linux in media (e.g. video, audio, pure graphics). The MythTV family, for instance, is cutting-edge free software that can turn old PCs into powerful media servers and set-up boxes. Pre-built appliances already exist for those who cannot handle the complexity of installation. 2007 gave birth to several businesses (mostly system integrators) that capitalize on the need for support in this space.

Many commercial equivalents thrive without their users paying attention to the underlying system. Tivo is an excellent example of this because it runs Linux at its heart. Tivo customers are usually oblivious to this fact.

Among televisions, including consideration for IPTV, some have called Linux a de facto choice. Rarely does it get the attention of ordinary viewers to whom a box is just a box, no matter what programs run on it.

The next part of this article, which covers embedded Linux and also Linux devices, covers more about portable audio players and film production. This first part of the article presented just some of the many areas where the use of GNU/Linux continues to grow. The next part puts greater emphasis on areas of Linux growth that are more remote from people's sight. We will cover growth in devices, robotics and servers, including large-scale services powered by mainframes and cloud computing.


最后由 oneleaf 编辑于 2008-01-07 20:17,总共编辑了 1 次

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『这个世界都是我的 ,我爱你们』


在此发布的文章使用 Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 协议

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2007年GNU/Linux 增长路线图
随着时间的推移,电器可能会继承传统桌面的重要角色。由于基于网络的软件发展,手机和ultra-mobile设备会渐渐的取代笔记本和服务器成为主导,(1)同样这也将数据存储推向后端。现在我们来一起探寻GNU/Linux是怎样适应(此处this broader vision不知道该怎么翻译),一起看看它是怎样的无所不在,并且在一直不断的增长中。

在超级计算领域,GNU/Linux已经成为非常受欢迎甚至不可替代的系统。选择它是因为它的伸缩性和可靠性,而不是因为价格。在全世界的超级计算机中,把虚拟化技术也考虑在内,Linux的占有率从2006年的86%上升到2007年年末的91%。这样比较2007年的增长算不上巨增,但是却显示出GNU/Linux在这个领域的地位不仅没有松动,而是更加的紧固的控制,惯性可能会使得这样的控制地位继续维持下去(此处if not further expanded in years to come不知道怎么翻译好)。
在过去的几年中,SGI,Sun Microsystems和微软一直试图增加或者恢复自己在超级计算领域的份额。SGI在UNIX的退让有利于GNU/Linux,相反微软和Sun公司(2)奋起直追,并且他们也证明了Windows和Solaris的增长。在世界500强计算机中,他们的野心只得到了非常有限的成果。IBM的AIX继续占有4.8%,Sun公司的Solaris占有0.4%,Mac OS X保持在0.4% 。GNU/Linux依旧是这个领域中的统治性平台。对这个平台的不断增长的信任来源于它的成熟和来之不易的声誉。

总而言之,手机市场继续高速增长,尤其在亚洲。LiMO和Google的Android的影响将在数年后看出来。Google为其在移动领域的努力已经花费了数以百万的美元,(the company's spectrum-related investments aside这句不知道怎么翻译)。我们应该可以在明年第一季度看到第一个使用Android构架的产品。许许多多的大型企业都会积极加入其中,并且HTC也许会是领头羊。

在桌面市场,前景似乎更加的光明。分别来自LinuxDesktop.com和Linux基金会的两项独立的使用者调查表明,参与到Linux阵营中的人在一年中翻了两倍多。如此强势的增幅是无法常规地估量的。(此处When it comes to free software, obtaining absolute numbers is different from studying trends.不知道怎么翻译好,求论讨老手指点)。如果你像某些产业观察家一样推断这些数字,保守地说,当前GNU/Linux在桌面市场的占有率已经是去年的两倍。
在规模较小的电脑销售商中,预装GNU/Linux已经变得越来越平常,有人将此趋势归因于人们对Windows Vista的强烈不满,尤其是Vista对硬件过高的要求提升了电脑的价格。照此,只需要很短的时间,安装GNU/Linux作为一种选择将会改变为一个到处都遵守的标准。随着Linux易用性的发展,Linux这个曾经被认为是怪人和业余爱好者选择的系统将会突然成为主流。
沃尔马的Everex gPC就是一个成功的例子。他们在几个星期内被销售一空并非是一个个例。戴尔预装GNU/Linux系统的PC销售量也超出了公司的最初期望,于是他们提供更多的型号的产品并将GNU/Linux系统作为一种选择,扩大到更多的地区。2007年将会因为GNU/Linux系统从不仅仅是可以使用,到被世界上最大的公司合适地地预装到了台式机和笔记本电脑中而被铭记。

在最近几个月,一批被寄以厚望的笔记本终于下线了。因为该产品兼得出色的外观和低廉得足以让每个人都买得起的价格,甚至可以像其他电子消费品一样放在柜台上出售,于是有人坚持称其为“小玩意”。这些小巧的笔记本由于使用GNU/Linux系统使得它们可以使用合适却不昂贵的硬件。基于Linux的Eee PC就是最近的一个例子。
仅仅是在几个月前华硕才引入Eee PC的概念,几个月后它的销售量就远远地超出了公司的预期。很快它就成为了最火热的圣诞礼物,华硕的产能已经不能满足空前的市场需求。就在圣诞前,华硕积极地修正了它的销售预测,使得这一产品成为华硕价值为第二的资产,甚至有预言称Eee PC可能会在几年内占有20%的笔记本市场份额。
Eee PC仅仅是众多低端便携式产品的成功故事中的一个。这些成功的便携式产品的共同的原因就是它们基于Linux。其他类似的笔记本和平板电脑有:Zombu笔记本(使用Gentoo Linux),诺基亚的因特网平板电脑(运行基于Debian的Maemo),英特尔的ClassMate(运行Mandriva Linux),还有PepperPad.甚至沃尔马也打算放出一款与上面提到的Everex desktop相当的笔记本,可能会被叫做Cloudbook。



最后由 stupidboy 编辑于 2008-01-06 14:42,总共编辑了 7 次

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which also moves storage toward the back end
stuck to their guns

Ubuntu life & ideas life

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现在我们来一起探寻GNU/Linux是怎样适应(此处this broader vision不知道该怎么翻译)
this broader vision=更广泛的前景

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